A Grand Rapids-based insurance broker has made an acquisition that will allow it to bring data science, artificial intelligence, and machine learning to its business.
Acrisure has acquired the insurance practice of Tulco, a Pittsburgh-based artificial intelligence company. The deal was conducted as a stock-for-stock trade that resulted in Tulco becoming a significant minority shareholder in Acrisure.
“Businesses that succeed in the medium to long term must be nimble, data-rich, and digitally oriented,” says Greg Williams, co-founder, president, and CEO of Acrisure. “The transaction with Thomas Tull and the Tulco team accelerates our ability to do all the above.”
In 2019, the two companies formed Altway Insurance, an artificial intelligence-backed brokerage focused initially on individual health benefits. Since its launch, Altway has seen success with 24 consecutive weeks of 10 percent or greater week-over-week growth.
“We’ve worked with the Tulco team for almost a year, and our vision for Acrisure and the industry are completely aligned,” Williams says. “Tulco’s world-class talent and ability to apply AI and intelligent automation is immeasurable as it relates to meeting the needs of our clients and transforming our company. We’re very pleased to be working with the entire Tulco team as we take this transformational step with like-minded entrepreneurs.”
Thomas Tull, chairman and CEO of Tulco, will become chairman of the new Acrisure Technology Group and will assist in attracting and retaining talent.
“A significant amount of capital has been deployed into insurtech, but we have a truly unique opportunity for scaled transformation as we layer AI into current processes,” Tull says. “Partnering with Acrisure over the last year and implementing the tech has given me the confidence and excitement that we will do things that are highly impactful. I look forward to helping Greg build the most forward leaning technology and advanced insurance brokerage in the world.”
Existing Tulco board members Jim Breyer (founder and CEO, Breyer Capital), A.G. Lafley (former chairman, CEO, and president, Procter and Gamble), and Anthony Foxx (chief policy officer, Lyft and former U.S. Transportation Secretary under President Obama), will serve as advisors to Acrisure. Other key leaders include Brendan McCord, who will become president of the Acrisure Technology Group, and Marty Willhite, who will serve as a strategic advisor.
“The insurance sector is ripe for transformation, and combining Tulco’s market-proven AI and data science products with Acrisure will deliver insurtech at scale,” Breyer says. “Thomas has a keen ability to fuse forward-thinking, entrepreneurial ideas with commercially-driven businesses. Combining this capability with Greg and the Acrisure team creates an opportunity to influence and shape an important and significant marketplace.”
Acrisure has gone from $650 million in annual revenue in 2017 to more than $2 billion currently. It has locations across six countries and is 85 percent employee owned.